Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s new jackpot winner, Donald Fear, was born in Weston-super-Mare.
Donald, who is the first person to scoop the top prize in 14 years, was ITV show’s coolest player. He used just one of his four lifelines to go all the way, and become only the sixth ever winner.
The 57-year-old answered the 15 questions from host Jeremy Clarkson in just under 20 minutes during a highly emotional show.
Although born in Weston, Donald has lived in Telford since 1987.
He told the Mirror how he took advice on how to triumph from his brother Davyth, who almost won the jackpot in September last year after getting to the £1m question but walking away when he couldn’t answer it.
A self-confessed socialists, Donald plans to share the money among his family.
“Instantly when they read out my name and I was fastest, that second I thought right my brother has told me ‘go on the show and do a professional job, focus and concentrate’,” said Donald. “And I did.
“So in that moment you see me look serious, there was no punching the air or this sort of lark, I was in the zone.
“The next thing to negotiate was getting in the chair because I was a bit worried I was going to fall off because I’ve got quite short legs!”
But there were no slip ups from Donald, he only used one 50:50 at the £32,000 question.
“Of the 15 questions I knew probably 13 of them immediately before the options appeared,” he said.
“That was including the million pound question, the £500,000 and including the £250,000. It’s very easy if you know the answers.
“What did I feel when the million pound question came up? ‘I know the answer. I’m just going to go for it’. So the thought ‘my god I am on the tight rope here with an awful long drop below’, that never occurred to me. It was a simple question and most history teacher’s worth their salt would know the answer even though it is not part of the curriculum. That was one of the easier million pound questions.”
Referring to his brother’s previous appearance, Donald added: “He is so pleased for me. We actually went and spent the night in a hotel with our wives that last week, and we got absolutely plastered and he kept poking me and saying, how pleased and how overjoyed he was by it and so on.
“Obviously we’ve had simmering rivalry our entire lives, he’s two and a half years older than me. But he could not be more delighted as I was for him when he won on the show.
“He’s actually a lot cleverer than I am but I was a lot, I was luckier with the questions and the final question.”
The show which went out last night was actually filmed in July and Donald and his wife of 33 years Deb celebrated winning a million with a modest UK holiday in a caravan.
He said: “We had booked the caravan holiday well in advance. We were supposed to be taking the ferry from Plymouth to Santander. Then staying in Santander, Bilbao, Pamplona, driving over the Pyranees to France and seeing castles but Covid had other ideas.
“So we desperately tried to get what we could, Whitley Bay in a caravan.
“It sounds naff but that is the Northumberland coast and we took a boat trip round the Faroe Island I saw 4000 puffins and loads of seals. It was idylic and we had lovely walks along the coast.
“I am thinking of getting a motorhome, I have never had one so we are going to try to hire one. I would love to jump on the next plane to the States it is just not an option. At the moment it is wonderful Britain and probably Wales, so a motorhome in Wales is what I will spend my million pounds on haha.”
Donald watched his win back on ITV with members of his family at home, he and wife Deb have four children; Cat 31, Ali 30, Izzy 26, Chris 22.
Asked how he will spend the rest of the money, Donald added: “I am a bit of a democratic socialist so to speak, and just as my brother did with his win, this money will be splurged across the family.
“I intend to give at least 70% of the money away and leave just enough for me so I can have a comfortable retirement say. To be honest if I had a million pounds, I wouldn’t have a clue how to spend it. I could buy an Aston Martin for instance, but I could get into the thing, but I could never get out of it. I’m fat! The only other thing you could possibly spend it on would be moving house but I am very happy with our house. It is in a lovely area and we have been there 27 years and have lovely neighbours, so why move. So I would rather keep the money and give it away to people I love. A motor home is the only purchase on the horizon.”
Donald was back at Haberdashers’ Adams grammar school in Newport, Shropshire yesterday and will remain in his teaching post until the end of December, retiring two years earlier than planned. As homework, he had set his pupils the exercise of watching last night’s show but had not told them how much he had won. They will get to quiz him about his new fortune on Monday.
He said: “I resigned the day after the show, the rules are you have to go at the end of the term, but I’d never investigate the possibility about whether it was possible to not go back at all. How unfair to my A level students would thay have been?
“They are amazing people and that would have been totally letting them down. So what I have said is I will do this term and I will make sure my year 13 students don’t miss out in any way shape or form. And I’ll make sure the twelves are launched. It never crossed my mind to not to come back at all.”
Donald is the show’s sixth winner of the million pound prize and the first since the show was brought back with new host Jeremy Clarkson in 2018, who replaced Chris Tarrant.
The first UK millionaire winner was Judith Keppel in 2000. She remains the only woman to take the top prize. Now 78, she spent £100 phoning the show more than 50 times to secure a place.
Former physics teacher David Edwards and Oxford-educated banker Robert Brydges both won in 2001.
Pat Gibson, a multiple world champion Irish quiz player, became the fourth person to win the UK top prize in 2004 and he was followed by civil servant Ingram Wilcox in 2006.
Major Charles Ingram also won the million pounds in 2001 – at the height of the show’s popularity.
But the episode was never shown and he was stripped of his prize after being found guilty of cheating in 2003.
* If you missed last night’s episode, you can watch Donald win a million on ITV Hub. (PLS REF)